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Thread: Clyde Butcher

  1. #1
    amellice's Avatar
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    Akram
    https://500px.com/amellice

    Bracketing is the refuge of the unknowing, a trial-and-error procedure that is wasteful of film and weakens the sense of disciplined procedure. Ansel Adams

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    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

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    paulbarden's Avatar
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    I cannot imagine anyone wanting to disparage an artist of Mr. Butcher's calibre for his choice of tools. Sometimes, the purist attitude creates an obstacle to creativity, not a doorway. How someone arrives at a completed piece is quite irrelevant as long as the piece is successfully crafted into being.

    I remain technology agnostic, for the sake of my creativity.

  4. #4
    amellice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughowk View Post
    he's not giving up his view camera
    Akram
    https://500px.com/amellice

    Bracketing is the refuge of the unknowing, a trial-and-error procedure that is wasteful of film and weakens the sense of disciplined procedure. Ansel Adams

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    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    By no means is he giving up the large-format view camera, Butcher says. But digital has the advantage of easy portability. As he gets older, Butcher can no longer go mucking around in the swamp or hiking Yosemite with 80 pounds of photo equipment strapped to his back.
    When Brett Weston was in his 60s, he moved to medium format. Matisse was cutting paper art in his sick bed, not painting. The great Emmett Gowin has been shooting digital for years now; he showed me his prints when I met him two years ago. Can you imagine how insulting it would be to have some callow, condescending twerp remark "Oh, you're shooting digital now?"

    Clyde's move to digital seems the natural evolution of an artist who wants to keep making art, rather than adhering to some mystical, self-defeating sense of sanctimonious purity.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

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    paulbarden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto View Post
    Clyde's move to digital seems the natural evolution of an artist who wants to keep making art, rather than adhering to some mystical, self-defeating sense of sanctimonious purity.
    YES! Thank you.

  7. #7
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Not sure why the righteous indignation. Nobody is telling Mr. Butcher he can't use any tool he pleases. We all get old. That includes every single one of you reading this. If you think you're exempt, you are not.

    So if he has simply reached the point in his journey where the use of a different tool now makes more sense, then why the hysteria here as if he's heroically defeated some vast conspiracy of evil to do so?

    Those who enjoyed his analog creations may mourn the passing of that era. Nothing wrong with that. Those exact same mourners will arrive at the exact same place he has in due time. Guaranteed.

    And it's not as if Mr. Butcher comes to APUG and calls us all callow, condescending, sanctimonious twerps for still enjoying film. He obviously and thankfully has far more class than that...

    Ken
    "When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."

    — Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932

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    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    I recently visited Sandy King in his South Carolina studio. He showed me numerous new 16x20 carbon prints of stunning quality. They were made with either a Nikon D800 or his Sony a7r, the camera that Clyde uses. I can't tell the difference between these and his prints made from in camera negatives. To be honest, I like the ones from digtital negs more. They have more contrast. This probably comes from the fact that Sandy can control things better in the computer than he can with wet chemistry.

    I think this has nothing to do with age. If Sandy could get the prints he wanted from his 16 x 20 film camera, he'd use it. Technology gives us more creative freedom, not less. And the results can be just as beautiful or even more so. I'm going to start learning to make digital negatives. I don't feel that inkjet prints can yet give us the print quality we need, but digital technology can certainly give us the negatives to print that will yield prints just as good as those from film. I have no doubt that if Ansel Adams were alive today, he'd be using a digital camera.
    Jim

  9. #9
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    However, I believe Mr. Butcher has explicitly referred to age as being a contributing factor in his move. Something about no longer being quite as able at age 72 to hump 60- or 80-pound backpacks across the swamps? Or something like that.

    But regardless of his reasons, the choice is solely his to make.

    In the same way that it's Mr. King's choice to make. If he has decided that computers and software and sensors and abstract user interfaces and hard-copy output devices and USB drives and hard disks and mouse clicks and touchscreens and monitor calibrations and upgrades are a better match for his artistic vision, then I am all for it.

    But it also shouldn't come as a surprise that on this particular forum there are at least a few who opt for more traditional means and methods. And I'm not so sure that calling them names serves any constructive purpose. That they may not be as enamored with all of the glitzy computerized high-tech push-button solutions should not be perceived as a threat that must be vanquished. Nor as a personal or intellectual failure on their part.

    It's true that computers can make many previously time-consuming and manual-skill-based tasks much easier and more accessible. But that does not always mean that everyone wants to go down that path. Sometimes people seek out more difficult paths for other more personal reasons.

    Ken
    "When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."

    — Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932

  10. #10
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    As far as I'm concerned, Clyde has more than cemented his place in the respect category for his amazing
    work in Large format film photography. He could tattoo "I shoot Sony Digital" across his chest...I'd still hold him in
    the highest respect.
    Common Sense is not so common.

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